Woman and Her Health

woman /ˈwʊmən/

noun

A human that is MAGIC 💫

Women’s month is all about celebrating and reflecting on the progress that has been made in promoting women’s equality and human rights. Although we are not where we would like to be, we sure have come a long way right? While we place our focus on equality, let us not forget that the sexual and reproductive health of women is also a human right. Due to the lack of information on women’s health, it is our duty to promote the education of sexual and reproductive health of women.

There are many ways we can take care of ourselves as women. I will discuss 5 ways we can all practice to make a conscious effort in putting ourselves and health first.

BODY AWARENESS

Many women are not confident in the body they have. We tend to allow how the world sees us to define who we are and honestly, I think we are all tired of that. Is it not time to define

ourselves? Our bodies? We are MAGIC! We do not need any validation. Let’s get to know and love our bodies. The curves…the size…the shape…the complexion…you name it, we are going to love it.

Getting in the habit of discovering our bodies will allow us to notice even the smallest changes that can save our lives. So get in front of that mirror and get to know yourself. Start from the top of your head and come down to your face. Beautiful right? Head to your breasts…your underarms then your abdominal area (don’t criticize yourself like we usually do when we get here). Now let’s look at our lower body. Do you know what your genital area looks like? We are discovering that too. Head to your legs and feet once you feel you have fully discovered yourself. Do this as often as you can so that we can maintain a healthy body and make changes where necessary.

GYNECOLOGIST

Seeing a gynaecologist is not normalized enough and we are going to change that. Find one that works for you and embark on your sexual and reproductive health journey. They will provide you with important information that will help you take better care of yourself which will result in a healthier life. We are working towards a holistic approach to life right? If you cannot afford to see a gynecologist, clinics do offer the same services for free.

Get your pap smears done at least once a year. There are articles which advice on waiting longer in between your pap smears, however, I think once a year is advisable. These could literally save your life!

Talk to your gynecologist about sexual health and how to maintain it. This includes testing for sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Remember, they do not only occur through vaginal/penetrative sex but also through unprotected oral sex.

A HEALTHY SEX LIFE

Sexual health is a lifelong concern for women. This is mainly due to the changes we go through throughout our lifetime. So much emphasis has been placed on STIs, birth control etc. when it comes to women’s health, but not enough has been placed on the physical changes one experiences with age such as:

• Change in libido/sex drive

• Issues with orgasm

• Lack of response to sexual stimulation

• Lack of natural lubrication

• Uncomfortable/ painful sex

Please take care of yourselves and if you notice any changes, please seek help. Better safe than sorry!

HEALTHY EATING & EXERCISE

We could talk about our eating and exercising habits all day…

We are what we eat. We know that. However, we also know that life can get in the way of reaching our full potential. Eating healthy and being active goes beyond losing weight, which would be great for most of us because that’s why we do it right?

It’s also imperative in maintaining a healthy lifestyle and overall women’s health.

It is important for us to make a conscious effort in taking better care of our bodies. If you treat your body right, It will treat you better.

MANAGING STRESS

While we take care of ourselves physically, we have to ensure our mental health is not neglected. Stress contributes a tremendous amount to women’s health. While we might not be aware of it at times, stress can be detrimental to our health. Notice how your period is lighter during stressful seasons in your life? Stress increases cortisol, a hormone which contributes to us overeating (remember the area I told you not to criticize earlier? Well our fat will definitely be stored here if we don’t manage our stress levels). Stress also contributes to high blood pressure, sleeping difficulties and back pain, just to name a few.

Some ways we can combat stress include:

• Practicing mindfulness

• Therapy

• Meditation

• Yoga

• Exercise

Remember, you have the right to sexual and reproductive health. Your consent and your choices matter the most. You can take all the advice given above as well as that of professionals, but the ultimate decision over your body lies with you.

Love yourself. Take care of yourself. YOU ARE MAGIC!

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